FTC Disclosure

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't whether I got it free or NOT!

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Please check out my other blogs
Pick of the Literate 
or Azure Dwarf’s Horde
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5 Common Mistakes Bloggers Make

Hmm, do I do any of this?



This guest post is by Christine Kane.

A great thing about blogging is that you are the boss and there aren’t many rules you can break. With that said, there are some things that bloggers make mistakes on that should be left off of blogs. Here is a list of 5 common mistakes bloggers make and that you may want to avoid:

Blogging too much or too little: Believe it or not there is a thing as blogging too much. If you post a blog daily, chances are your readers are not reading it. And if you blog less than once a week, chances are your readers have moved on. The key is give them a little bit to keep them wanting more. Blogging twice a week is perfect for your readership and your stress levels.

No visuals: Want to see a cool magic trick? Don’t post any images on your blog post and see how many people fall asleep. Please, whatever you do, upload an image. Whether it is a video, pie chart or a photo-upload it! Readers need something to break up the words they are reading. Having an image attracts the reader to the blog post.

Hard to read: If you blog is one long entry this can be very unappealing for the reader. Break up your words, using short paragraphs and spacing. If you have lists, don’t be afraid to use bullets and numbers when needed. Use italics, bolding and underlining to add attention to words that you want to stand out. Be sure that background of your blog is easy on the eyes and avoid anything too busy or bright neon-like color. It is best to write in really dark font like black, navy and purple if you background is light.

Not replying to readers: So many times bloggers often forget to follow up with the comments they receive from their readers. Consider your readers your fans and you do not want to disappoint them. When they comment or ask a question on your post be sure to respond and respond quickly.

Bad content: There are do’s and don’ts when it comes to blog subjects. A common mistake bloggers make is beating a dead horse. If there is a topic that you repeat over and over again, it tends to get annoying. Airing your dirty laundry isn’t a do. Keep your personal problems and vents to yourself, unless of course that is the basis of your whole blog. Don’t try to be funny if you aren’t funny. Sarcasm can be really hard to understand on paper. Just use your best judgment when it comes to covering certain topics.

Author Bio
This Guest post is by Christine Kane from internet service providers, she is a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects for different blogs. She can be reached via email at: Christi.Kane00 @ gmail.com.
If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Banana Boat Sport Cool Zone Sunscreen Continuous Spray SPF 30, 6 Fluid Ounce



I’m fond of the spray sunscreen for the little folk, not leprechauns, grand-kids.   It is often easier to spray than hold them still long enough to effectively cover them with lotion.  Keep in mind the convenience may be off set by the price, spray sun screen is more expensive.

This can claims a cooling feeling.   Frankly I didn’t notice that it cooled anymore than any other spray sunscreen I have used.   It sprayed nicely with a fine mist.  It did seem non-greasy; which is a very positive thing often claimed by others and seldom true.   It did dry very quickly.   I spent 2 hours out at prime burn time, 1:00—3:00 and did not notice any sun impact.  

I was doing gardening and sweated profusely.  The spray seemed very resistant to sweat as I took a dark cloth and vigorously rubbed my forearm and got a white film on the cloth which I am assuming was the spray as I don’t normally produce a white film.

Overall, with the exception that I did not notice an appreciable difference in cooling, this spray met or exceeded all of their claims. 



If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

4 Must-Know Tips for Saving Money on Novels and Textbooks Online


4 Must-Know Tips for Saving Money on Novels and Textbooks Online

Everyone wants to get the most for their money, especially when it comes to typically expensive products, like textbooks and new novels. Whether you’re a student or just a book-lover, the cost of buying books can definitely set you back a bit if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce or eliminate the cost of your next book purchase by following several easy tricks online. Read on for the best ways to find books online at the lowest possible prices, sometimes even for free.
1. Always search for free copies first.
Before you ever buy a book online, the first thing to do is look for an available free copy. There are many resources online where students and readers can download copies of the books they need for free. Usually free downloads are available for people who already own a Kindle, like Barnes and Noble’s Free Nook Books. Users with accounts can browse the wide selection of titles, from fiction and romance to sci-fi and history, and download books instantly onto their Kindles. If you aren’t hooked up with a Kindle or a member of a similar book club, you can still search for other free options by googling the title along with the word “free.”
2. Do a Google Shop search for the title.
If you can’t find a free copy online, the next step is to compare prices of different book vendors. One of the best ways to do this is to Google the book title in the “shopping” section of Google search. This will bring up all the copies sold online with quick price and shipping comparisons. If you need your textbook or novel right away, choosing the lowest price option here is probably the best way to save time.
3. Join a book swap site.
When you don’t need a book immediately, but would like to pick up a copy someday, one of the perfect places to find one is on a book swap site. If you’re an avid reader, this is also a great way to clear out all the dated copies of the books you no longer need. Book swap sites typically allow users to make a membership and either buy books directly from other members or trade them for their own used books. Trading usually works via a point system, where, as soon as you give a book away, you will gain points toward selecting a book for yourself. Cool swap sites are Paperbackswap.com and Bookmooch.com.
4. Never pay full-price.
With all the book titles available online, there is no reason to pay full-price for a novel or textbook, especially if it’s been out for more than six months. Chances are someone will have listed a used copy online at greatly reduced prices. On top of that, there are tons of sites that specialize in book wholesale and usually carry the overstock copies of all sorts of titles. Amazon offers books at all prices, from new full-priced copies to old used copies. Half.com, a subsidiary of Ebay, sells books and textbooks, movies and games at huge discounts. The site also allows users to rent textbooks, which is a huge money-saver for students. Other textbook rental sites include College Book Renter and Chegg.
By-line:
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey.

This is a a guest post.  I do accept guest posts only when the guest poster's link is inoffensive.  I will not accept links to payday loan sites, gambling sites or porn sites.  If you have a money saving tech post, I am willing to review it and post it here if it is suitable.  Suitable is totally subjective.  BTW I use both Paperbackswap and Bookmooch as well as Books Free Swap .  I have found all three very useful.


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kellogg’s Special K Granola Bars-Dark Chocolate


Kellogg’s Special K Granola Bars-Dark Chocolate

110 calories—Calories from Fat 25
Sodium is only 4% of daily values
17g carbs
4g protein

This was a very tasty snack.  The chewy part is accurate which makes it easier to eat in the car.   The crunchy ones spray all down the front of your shirt when you are driving and eating.   This had a nice flavor and the dark chocolate flavor made it more candy bar-ish than many.

I liked it and particularly like the low sodium.  I’m always amazed at how much sodium is in supposedly healthy foods.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Strathwood Anderson Hardwood Sectional, Ottoman



This ottoman comes knocked down but it is easy to assemble.   The legs come in a set of two and the body is got post that go into the leg piece.  The screws use a barrel bolt and it assembled quite easily with no scraped knuckles or cursing.  The ottoman is very sturdy and can seat two adults and several kids.   It is heavy enough that it shouldn’t easily blow into your pool if you are using it on the deck.

It claims to be for outdoor use but it looks like a nice piece of furniture.   I think it might be better suited for a porch rather than a deck.   The cushion is thick and comfy.   You could easily get a sheet of Plexiglas caught to fit the top and use the base as a coffee or drink table as well as an ottoman.

Good looking and sturdy it is part of a whole patio ensemble.

Strathwood Info:
This Strathwood Anderson Hardwood Sectional Ottoman Includes stone-colored fabric cushion with Velcro attachments.   Hardwood ottoman adds convenience and style to outdoor living spaces.   Crafted from solid eucalyptus with a lovely dark-brown stain. View larger. Coordinates beautifully with other Anderson sectional pieces (sold separately).   Perfect for relaxing and entertaining, the Strathwood Anderson sectional collection features handsome furniture with superb weather resistance and maintenance-free care, making it ideal for outdoor use. As part of the Anderson collection, this contemporary ottoman infuses comfort and convenience into any outdoor living space. Whether placed poolside or on a front porch or back patio, the ottoman creates an inviting atmosphere when gathering with family or entertaining friends, providing additional sitting space or a comfortable place to put up tired feet. Crafted from solid eucalyptus with a dark-brown stain, the ottoman sports clean lines and square post legs for stability and modern flair. The included seat cushion features stone-colored fabric made from 100% polyester and comes equipped with Velcro attachments to keep the cushion securely fastened to the ottoman. Best of all, the ottoman coordinates beautifully with other Strathwood Anderson hardwood sectional pieces (sold separately), as well as Strathwood's Redonda collection thanks to the same dark-brown stain being used on both. Overall, the ottoman measures 27.5 inches long by 27.5 inches wide by 17 inches high and weighs 16.5 pounds. Some assembly is required. Cushion Care and Cleaning: Gently brush off dirt before it becomes embedded in the fabric and wipe up any spills as soon as they occur. Gently spot clean only with mild soap and cool water using a sponge or soft brush, then air dry the cushion in a sunny location. Both the ottoman and the cushion should be brought indoors or securely covered during inclement weather and stored in a dry place when not in use. Please note that upholstered items purchased on different occasions over time may have a slight variation in hue. This is normally expected between rolls of like fabric, since no two can be produced to come out exactly the same. Strathwood furniture has quality, ease of use, and casual elegance at its core. Each piece is rigorously tested for durability, and assembly instructions have been standardized for simplicity from start to finish. Strathwood furniture is sleekly designed, handsomely finished, and built to last. The modern style and reliable craftsmanship will weather ever-changing trends and regular use for years to come.
If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

UXCell Glass Cutter


UXCell Glass Cutter
I recently pulled out my stained glass tools and discovered my glass cutter and corroded beyond use.   I found this one on Amazon for $6.63.   It worked just fine.  I chose this and not one with an oil reservoir due to the frequent complaints about oil leakage.   A couple of cotton balls soaked with 3-1 Oil work just fine for cleaning the cutter after each cut.   I did research and find that the expensive cutting oil often recommended is not necessary.   You can use sewing machine oil or 3-1 oil for far less money.

The cutter worked just fine.
Amazon Technical Details
  • This is a new Glass Cutter for mineral glass and diamond
  • The Diamond Cutter (note: this cutter is not diamond made, but for cutting diamond) is perfect for cutting and glass art work
  • The Minerals Cutter also perfect for cutting stained glass, other craft and household uses
  • With a metal holder, anti-slip design, convenience to use
  • Size: 6 3/4 x 3/8" (L*W)
I received no compensation for this review and I bought the cutter it was not given to me to review.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Maxxima MLN-10-4 LED Nightlight Save The Planet




I do not like running into things.  Since I can’t see in the dark, I am a believer in nightlights.   I am of an age where I am frequently up during the night.   Stumbling around is counterproductive to healthy toes.   Walks in the dark lead to cracked elbows, throbbing stubbed toes and immoderate speech therefore I use nightlights.

I found these nightlights on Amazon and they were priced aggressively at $12.99 with free shipping on orders of $25.00.   There were a variety of ratings and reviews.   They provide adequate light.  The light they provide is bluish in color.   One complaint was they are flimsy in construction.   They are a bit flimsy but once you plug it in, who cares?  You aren’t going to be handling it.   You do need to firmly plug them in.   They do not easily seat themselves, you need to give them a good push.   They have a light sensor which turns them off when there is light in the room and on when it is dark.   They also have a swivel head that allows you to direct the light which is a very positive feature. 

The light bulb is an LED that the manufacturer claims uses 90% less electricity than an incandescent bulb of similar lighting.   My four 7 Watt incandescent light bulbs used 28 watts of electricity.  Replacing them reduced the use of electricity to 2.8 watts.   I am sure I will NOT see a change in my electric bill.   However if 10,000 people changed four 7 watt nightlights to LED it would save 252,000 watts of electricity.   That is an astounding savings of our resources.  

I don’t expect you to jump on the computer and buy new nightlights but when and if you need them, might I suggest that you consider your environment and save some electricity.

I received no compensation for this post.  I purchased the nightlights, they were not given to me to review.    

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Heating Oil Tank



 If you heat your home with oil or have a summer/winter hookup which means your furnace heats your water as well as heating your house, you may want to read this.  

The average in-house oil tank holds 275 gallons of oil.  Now compare that to the average in-ground swimming pool that holds 20,000 gallons of water that doesn’t sound like much oil.

Consider for a moment though that if the swimming pool leaks, you get water in your yard.   If your oil tank leaks you get an EPA rated mess.  

When my furnace was last serviced the service repair guy told me that my oil tank looked like it was on its last legs.   He said 36 years old is an “old” tank and that I should consider replacing it.  Considering the hassle of clean up and intrusive government oversight on heating oil, I decided to replace it.  

I got four quotes and chose the one from the plumber I most frequently use.   One plumber who sells the tanks but does not install them, told me that the “normal” 275 gallon tank sells to installers for around $500.00.   The quotes I got for installation including the tank ranged from $1700.00 to $2800.00.    My oil company was the highest quote which disappointed me since they have done quality work for me before.  The oil company also had a vertical space saving tank that was $3800.00 but my basement is spacious so that wasn’t necessary.   

My recommendation is that you consider the reputation of the installer when looking at price.   Considering the implications of a tank failure, you do NOT want any fly-by-night contractor installing your oil tank.  

This is a FYI post, your oil tank may be fine but I would suggest if it is older than 20 years you should have it checked by someone you trust.   An oil tank failure would be a homeowner nightmare.




If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.
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